You are here

Join a conversation with acclaimed author Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

Join a conversation with acclaimed author Ayelet Gundar-Goshen


On December 6, start your Sunday live online with acclaimed author Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

Although only 38 years old, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen has amassed a diverse and impressive array of achievements.

She is an award-winning Israeli novelist whose books have been translated into 14 languages. She’s a clinical psychologist, screenwriter, and international correspondent who regularly works with the BBC. Known for suspenseful thrillers that delve into the human condition, she recently served as a visiting artist at UCLA, appropriately teaching about the psychology of writing.

For close to a decade, Spertus Institute spearheaded Chicago’s community celebration of Jewish Book Month by focusing on a single book, explored through programs and book discussions around the city and suburbs. This year, the emphasis moves from a single book to a featured author, presenting Ayelet Gundar-Goshen for a live online conversation you can join from anywhere, part of a new series called Authors OutLoud.

The conversation with Ayelet Gundar-Goshen takes place Sunday, December 6 at 10 am CST.

Tickets, which are $18 ($8 for students), are on sale through the Spertus Institute website at spertus.edu. Program login information will be provided to ticket holders 48 hours in advance.

Books by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

Gundar-Goshen became a household name in Israel when her first novel, One Night, Markovitch, won Israel’s prestigious Sapir Prize for best debut and was recognized with Italy’s Adei-Wizo Prize, which she shared with Etgar Keret.

Waking Lions, her first book to be published in the United States, was named an Editor’s Choice by The New York Times and a Best New Book by The Wall Street Journal. Its gripping story focuses on a neurosurgeon with a secret. As it unfolds, it touches on issues of class, race, nationality, and infallibility—in ways called “earth-shattering” by Harper's Bazaar.

Liar, Gundar-Goshen's newest book, was named a Best Book of the Year by Elle Magazine. Equally fast-paced and unpredictable, it explores the lure of fame and the slippery nature of truth, set against the backdrop of #metoo.

Waking Lions and Liar are available for purchase through the Spertus Bookshop Affiliate Page at bookshop.org/shop/Spertus—or find them at your favorite library or bookseller.

For the December 6 program, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen will be interviewed by Spertus Dean and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Keren E. Fraiman, who first became a fan of the author’s books while working at the iCenter for Israel Education.

Talking about the books’ importance, Dr. Fraiman said, “Gundar-Goshen addresses highly charged situations. She compels us to gauge how her characters arrived in these situations—and to look in the mirror at our own feelings and what we would do in their place. Without hesitation, her stories embrace the moral ambiguity and complexities that exist between truth and lies, altruism and self-interest, and right and wrong.”

“Spertus Institute has long presented authors because literature provides an important lens into both the Jewish experience and the broader human condition,” she continued. “Gundar-Goshen’s books are firmly planted in the realities of Israeli society, and through her characters, we experience some of the intricacies of contemporary Israeli life. Yet the stories are also universal in highly relatable ways—exploring the border-transcending issues of race and racism, gender, power, and integrity.”

“Gundar-Goshen's works also speak to this moment. She asks hard questions about issues that have animated the political space in the past year. Although these issues are extremely complex, we often approach them in ways that leave little room for nuance. I hope that as we explore Ayelet Gundar-Goshen’s books together, we can begin to ask similarly hard questions of ourselves and have nuanced conversations with one another.”

This program is part of the Solomon Goldman Lecture Series, generously endowed by the late Rose and Sidney Shure.

JUF News is the program’s media sponsor.


Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership offers dynamic learning opportunities rooted in Jewish wisdom and culture and open to all. Graduate programs and workshops train future leaders and engage individuals in exploration of Jewish life. Public programs—including films, exhibitions, speakers, seminars, workshops, and concerts—take place online, and when safe to do so, at the Institute's Michigan Avenue facility and in the Chicago suburbs.

Spertus Institute is a partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community.

Friday, October 2, 2020